Environmental regulations and rules help keep our waterways safe and clean and our water available for all users. The Trump administration rolled back many of those rules and regulations in pursuit of a pro-business agenda.
Throughout the nearly four years of the Trump administration, many of the environmental regulations and previously adopted rules that protect our waterways and those who rely on them, have been rolled back, weakened or reprioritized.
A Washington Post analysis has found that the Trump administration “has weakened or wiped out more than 125 rules and policies aimed at protecting the nation’s air, water and land, with 40 more rollbacks underway.” This has come in the form of reduced industry oversight, eroded wildlife protections and rolled-back Obama-era climate change actions.
You might remember the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rollback conducted under EPA chiefs Pruitt and Wheeler. Additionally, the Post found additional impacts to water include “eas[ing] requirements on power plants that leak waste into waterways” and “weaken[ing] efficiency standards for dishwashers,” in addition to stripping water protections on public lands. Last week, the administration opened up more than 9.3 million acres to logging in Alaska’s vast Tongass National Forest, one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests.
Many of the administration’s policies and rule changes are being challenged in the courts by environmental groups, states and public health organizations but many of the impacts are already being felt, as hundreds of acres of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia are about to be impacted by titanium mining.
Elections have consequences. Those we elect to serve us can make major impacts to our water quality and availability at all levels throughout the country, even if those impacts aren’t immediately obvious. Environmental regulations not only serve to define acceptable business practices, they also speak for those who are vulnerable and lack a voice. As people cast their votes, it’s important to consider the type of environment they want for their future.